Since the last update, a lot of assets have been completed for our alpha. It was decided that our goal for semester one was to have the digital completely implemented. Although some things were held back such as receiving the floor plan of the room and obtaining furniture, many of the goals for the digital game were met.
LIST OF COMPLETED ITEMS THIS UPDATE:
- Puzzle designs and game progression
- Character sprites and animation
- User Interface (buttons, panels, dialogue boxes, etc.)
PUZZLES! MORE PUZZLES!
All the puzzles in the first half of the game that do not require AR mode (phases 1 and 2) have been designed and ready to be tested. In addition the overall flow of the game, from narrative to gameplay, have been mapped out. Here’s a quick peek at the first potential puzzle.
Phase 1: A Simple Lock
Iris will hold the player’s hand throughout the beginning phase. She gives obvious hints and guides them through the first puzzle, a locked drawer requiring a 4 number sequence. The numbers correspond to dated posters on the wall, which also correspond to CDs on the shelf. E.g. 4 posters are aligned, given a hypothetical sequential assignment of 1 to 4 from left to right. The player can find the dates of released by checking the CD case. To find the solution, the player must date the posters from oldest to newest.
Phase 1 is intended to help the player familiarize themselves with the tablet and the game system, in addition to building trust with IRIS.
DESIGNS AND SPRITES
Based off of the description of the NPC, I created a few simple drafts for IRIS, the assistant. We chose a design pretty quickly, and I created the sprite sheets and basic animations such as her idle bob and walking animation. This process was fairly simple. First I created the main sprite and separated the head, hair, body, and limbs into separate layers. I brought them into Photoshop and moved each part individually a certain pixels up or down.
My partner Fish created a great layout sketch with the colour palette and potential fonts. I used this to create our first UI draft in Adobe Illustrator. Labelled text buttons were chosen to give the player a clear understanding of what each one does. I also created a dialogue box that features a small portrait on the left, which could be used to show sprite emotions to go with their speech.
After the first layout was created, I found that the game started to look like an ipad ordering system for a breakfast restaurant, which was not what we intended. The buttons looked too big and interface took up too much of the screen. In addition, our logo was hard to see due to the yellow scheme. It was also lacking user feedback: the player could not tell if they had pressed the button when they tapped it.
Taking all of these problems into account, I decided to make a set of round symbol buttons instead. It was argued that these buttons could potentially be confusing if the player was not familiar with them. After some research, I chose extremely recognizable and popular symbols that were also used in other programs and games. This proved to be a successful fix to our previous overwhelmingly large buttons, and made it look more like a game than a breakfast ordering system. I also made a darker version of each button that would be used when players press down, to show that the button has been tapped on.
In terms of art assets left to implement, I still need to make tiles and sprite the furniture we will be using. I also need to make different simple expressions for IRIS to be used in the dialogue box. Moving forward to the next semester, we will begin building and testing the physical puzzles when out tags and sensors come in during the winter break. The AR system is also almost ready for use, and I will begin modelling as necessary.